Most senior citizens will need the kind of long-term care that a living facility can provide, but choosing the right one is no simple task.
When one reaches a certain age, owning and maintaining a home can become a real burden. Seniors, many of whom aren't as mobile as they used to be, don't want to deal with the hassles of mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters, and watering the plants. Retirement communities offer a chance to leave those chores behind and embrace a new, care-free lifestyle. With so many types of communities available, what factors should seniors focus on in their decision making? And how can they prevent making costly mistakes?
Whether you're considering a retirement community for yourself or for an aging parent, here are a handful of guidelines that everyone should follow to make a transition as smooth as possible:
COUNTLESS HOMES, DIVERSE PRICES: Entrance fees into a retirement community will typically start in the five-figure range and can go as high as $500,000 or more for luxury properties. Features including the size and the location of one's specific apartment can greatly affect prices -- but the costs don't end there. Maintenance fees usually start at $2,000 (per month) and will normally include your residence, food, and medical care. Other amenities can include linen service, a fitness center, and a wide variety of programs to stimulate the mind, the body, and the soul. Now more than ever communities run both a financial and medical evaluation to ensure tenants meet the community's entrance standards.